May 2000 JALT Event in Fukuoka



Classroom Based Language Testing


James Dean ("JD") Brown, world-respected expert; professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, graduate faculty of the Department of ESL; visiting Professor, Temple University, Japan.


Sunday, May 28, 2000


2:00 to 5:00


Aso Foreign Language & Travel College
Building #5, 1-14-17 Hakataekiminami, Hakata-ku Fukuoka-shi
(10 minutes from Hakata Station on foot
- see the map in English or see the map in Japanese for details)
NOTE: This is a new building, but it is just around the corner from our old, usual meeting place.


Free for JALT members. 1000 yen for non-JALT members.


Bill Pellowe,, 092-883-3688 (t/f) or J. Lake,

This talk will center on tests as they are used in language classrooms. The talk will begin with discussion of the crucial differences between classroom tests and standardized tests in terms of purposes, types of decisions, levels of generality, students' expectations, score interpretations, and score report strategies. Logistical differences will also be discussed in terms of group size, ranges of abilities, test length, time allowed, and cost. Then, a classroom test review checklist will be presented and explained. In addition, the beneficial effects of good classroom testing will be discussed as they relate to language students, teachers, and curriculum.

A definition will be provided for what a test item is. The effect of the different channels and modes of the construction of tests will be discussed. Specific Guidelines will then be provided for writing different types of items. First, a general set of guidelines will be presented and explained. Second, guidelines for the different types of receptive item formats (true-false, multiple-choice, and matching) will be provided. Third, guidelines for various sorts of productive item formats (fill-in, short-answer, and task-based) will also be given.

The talk will conclude with an explanation of the processes involved in developing a new type of classroom test, called a reduced forms dictation, that was developed by a group of teachers who were trying to foster fluency in their students in the People's Republic of China.

Understanding Research in Second Language LearningABOUT THE SPEAKER:

In addition to numerous book chapters and articles in TESOL Quarterly, TESOL Newsletter, Language Learning, Language Testing, Modern Language Journal, System, JALT Journal, The Language Teacher, and RELC Journal, James Dean ("JD") Brown has published a number of books: Understanding Research in Second Language Learning: A teacher's guide to statistics and research design (Cambridge, 1988); The Elements of Language Curriculum: A systematic approach to program development (Heinle & Heinle, 1995); Language Testing in Japan (with Yamashita, JALT, 1995); Testing in Language Programs (Prentice-Hall, 1996); New Ways of Classroom Assessment (TESOL, 1998); as well as two with Hudson and Detmer on testing pragmatics (U. of Hawaii Press), two with Norris and Hudson on performance testing (U. of Hawaii Press), and a Japanese translation of his 1996 testing book (translated by Wada, Taishukan Shoten publishers).

James Dean ("JD") Brown was educated at California State University Los Angeles (BA French), University of California Santa Barbara (BA English Literature), and University of California Los Angeles (MA TESL and PhD in Applied Linguistics). For two years, he was senior scholar in the UCLA/China Exchange Program at Zhongshan University in the People's Republic of China. For three years, he was an assistant professor at Florida State University and Academic Coordinator for the FSU/ARAMCO MA Program which was delivered on site in Saudi Arabia. Currently Professor of Applied Linguistics on the graduate faculty of the Department of ESL at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, his areas of specialization include language testing, curriculum design, program evaluation, and research methods.

In 1992, he was a Fulbright scholar at Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro. He has been invited to conduct workshops and teach courses in places as divers as Brazil, Cuba, Egypt, France, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Thailand, Venezuela, and the former Yugoslavia. He has served on the editorial boards of the TESOL Quarterly, Language Testing, and JALT Journal, as well as on the TOEFL Research Committee, the TESOL Advisory Committee on Research, and the Executive Board of TESOL.


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